McPherson’s Senior American Legion baseball team wasn’t about to waste two outstanding pitching performances.
Post 24 had to feel like it let one get away in the opener against the Newton Knights Monday night at Grant Complex as a dandy effort by Dylan Werries went for naught in a 3-1 loss as the McPherson bats were relatively silent other than a pair of hits by Zane Myers.
Pitching with a strong north wind at his back that allowed outfielders to play almost at Little League depth, Werries spinned a three-hitter and struck out 10. Of the 89 pitches he threw, 60 were for strikes.
But some leaky defense in the fifth inning spurred Newton to a pair of runs, which proved to be the difference in the game.
That left it to Jack Reifschneider to play the role of stopper. And he stopped Newton dead in its tracks.
Reifschneider threw a one-hitter and fanned nine, while walking only one in a 6-0 complete-game victory. Of his minuscule 81 pitches, 58 were for strikes.
McPherson awoke from its offensive slumber by scoring three runs in the first and added two in the third before finishing the game with nine hits. Gunnar Reiss and Alex Sitts had two apiece and Mikey Saverino plated two RBIs.
“Our pitching was excellent tonight,” McPherson coach Mark Reifschneider said. “In 14 innings, our pitchers only allowed 4 hits. Unfortunately, we couldn't give Dylan any offensive support in Game 1. We also had a couple costly errors. I give a lot of credit to Newton's pitcher in Game 1. We were better offensively in Game 2. Jack was dominating on the mound.”
McPherson now is scheduled to take some time off as its next action isn’t until July 8 when it hosts the Hooper Classic.
• Game 1 •
McPherson (1) — Werries 2-1-0-0, Reiss 4-0-0-0, Kalkhorst 3-0-0-0, Reifschneider 3-0-0-0, Sitts 3-0-1-0, Wheat 1-0-0-0, Hanken 0-0-0-0, Myers 3-0-2-0, Saverino 3-0-0-0, Robly 2-0-1-0, McDaniel 1-0-0-0.
• Game 2 •
McPherson (1) — Werries 3-1-0-1, Reiss 3-1-2-0, McDaniel 1-1-0-0, Kalkhorst 3-0-0-0, Reifschneider 3-1-1-1, Sitts 3-1-2-1, Myers 2-1-1-0, Saverino 2-0-1-2, Steinert 1-0-0-0, Hanken 2-0-1-0, Wheat 1-0-0-0, Robl 2-0-1-0.